Car porn (but this time with a plot)

So BMW did it over 10 years ago with The Hire but who cares. Here’s another gorgeous piece of car porn from Jaguar directed by Ridley Scott Associates which showcases the new Jaguar F-TYPE in all its glory.

15 minutes of brand entertainment at its best.

Ever heard of screen hopping?

What with moving house, xmas, panicking to get my tax return in on time and pandering to my newborn baby boy, I’ve rather neglected my blogging duties I’m afraid!  Not that you noticed 😉 Anyhow, I’m back on track now with this rather cool campaign.

Honda has just unveiled “This Unpredictable Life” – an interactive TV campaign to launch the new Honda Jazz which enables viewers to interact with the ad via a dedicated iphone app.  Whether you’re watching it on your TV, computer, or on another iPhone, you can basically grab the characters from the film using your iphone as they appear on screen.

‘Screen hopping’ is a new term for me but I believe it works by using sound recognition in the iphone app to register what’s being played on the ad. In doing so you can effectively present pre-defined elements on your iphone app to give  the impression they’ve hopped over from the TV screen. I think even David Blaine would be impressed with that trick!

But to me it feels like the technology is driving the idea here rather than the other way round. Whilst it’s definitely an neat innovative idea I’m not convinced consumers will go to the trouble to download the app as there’s little reward for their efforts apart from the obvious wow factor of experiencing the technology.  I’m also struggling to see the connection with the model positioning for the Honda Jazz.  That said, this is the first time I’ve seen a brand adopt screen hopping as a way to engage consumers, so it will be interesting to see if other brands will try to emulate this and take it to the next level.

via digitalbuzz

Audi A1 Augmented Reality

The automotive industry were one of the first industries to embrace AR within marketing communications so it’s probably not surprising to see Audi now taking full advantage of this technology to promote the A1.


What’s interesting for me, however, is that they’ve integrated AR within their main website so that it will remain a permanent feature for that model. In this example, you can add a panoramic sunroof, open doors and explore the interior or even take it for a virtual spin. Admittedly AR can be a bit gimmicky for some tastes but I like the fact that people have the option to interact with this if they choose to do so, in much the same way that some prospects prefer video content whilst others devour technical specs.   Also, now that it’s a permanent fixture on the site they should be able to include the AR code on other marketing collateral to help drive offline prospects online.

If Audi can demonstrate that AR is well received with some online personas and improves their conversion rates, I wouldn’t be surprised if they roll this out for all future product launches.

If you want to read my other posts on Augmented Reality click here.

A sacrifice worth making

If you’ve ever read Adam Morgan’s “Eating the Big Fish” you’ll be familiar with the credo of making certain sacrifices in order to do great things in other areas.   Theoretically speaking, to get noticed as a challenger brand it’s important to work out what you’re not going to do and then redirect that money, energy and resource into something you do want to do.

So in practical terms this could mean sacrificing a particular media channel, a market region, a customer segment, or even a product within your portfolio.  This will enable brands with more limited budgets to ‘over commit’ elsewhere.

As you may have heard, VW did exactly this when they came to launch the new 2010 GTi.  Instead of investing in traditional paid-for media such as print ads, digital banners or OOH they put all their eggs in one basket and produced an iphone app.  And that’s it!

If you’re not familiar with this unusual launch, check out this video posted on AKQA’s Facebook page as it explains the case study in full.

Calculating the true efficacy of social media

The other thing worth mentioning about this campaign is that if anyone wanted actual proof on the potential efficacy of social media, this is it!  By sacrificing all other paid-for media in favour of this app, they’ve effectively created a controlled environment where the true ROI of this activity can be measured without being skewed by other campaign initiatives.

Now that doesn’t happen very often…

Is social media just for chavs?

I was invited to present at the IAB Luxury Forum last week to talk about social media within the luxury sector.  There was a very interesting mix of speakers including:

  • the Deputy MD of Grazia (topline view of key digital insights within luxury sector)
  • the Head of Research & Insight at Microsoft Advertising (qualitative research on digital consumption in luxury sector)
  • the Founder of Howto.TV (how luxury brands are using video on demand)
  • the Head of Digital Planning and the Creative Director from Imagination (digital event case study for Christie’s Auction)
  • the MD from Maximiser (website optimisation tips).

If you’re interested in reading their presentations you can access them all here.

My presentation was initially billed as “Practical social media tips within the luxury sector” but that was until I found out I had the graveyard slot as the last presenter!

Whilst deliberately tongue-in-cheek  I was also trying to make a serious point  – is social media marketing a viable means of engaging affluent, aspirational audiences or is it more suited to mainstream brands who tend to cater for the masses?

This presentation puts forward the case that the luxury sector cannot afford to ignore social media, particularly when one considers how fast the social web is evolving. Yet at the same time, if Gartner is to believed, there’s a very high chance their social media campaigns will fail.   I therefore outline some key strategic considerations to help improve the chances of success, backed up with two practical social media examples from my client Infiniti Europe to bring this strategic approach to life.

If you work within the luxury sector – or any sector for that matter – I invite you to read this as there may be some useful nuggets for you to take away and apply.

Cyber Lions Grand Prix winners at Cannes

The Cyber Lions category at the Cannes International Advertising Festival covers a wide range of interactive marketing from websites, microsites, interactive campaigns, online advertising, rich media banners, mobile advertising, interactive tools, email marketing and viral videos.

This year there were three worthy winners who received a Grand Prix within this category.

‘Best Job in the World’ Campaign for Tourism Queensland

best-job-in-the-worldLet’s face it, we’ve all seen the typical tourist ads with beautiful, white sandy beaches, stunning aqua marine life and cliche couples walking off into the  sunset.  Whether it’s inviting us to visit Malta, Turkey, the Greek Islands or the Maldives, the final destination is almost interchangeable as it’s all based on the same consumer insight or creative treatment.

So it’s refreshing to see Tourism Queensland adopt a radically diifferent approach to make their modest marketing budget go that much further.

If you haven’t heard about this campaign yet you clearly love your job too much to even notice! Basically, instead of going down the traditional route, Tourism Queensland decided to place recruitment ads in various global media for a 6 month paid contract on Hamilton Island, describing it as ‘the best job in the world’.

Needless to say it wasn’t long before this campaign went viral.  What a great way to raise awareness of this beautiful destination whilst indirectly communicating the island’s key features. As an aside, I met a proctologist last week which must surely be the worst job in the world!  Given the choice, I think I’d much rather be a beach bum than a bum specialists!

Credit: Campaign created by Nitro

Fiat Eco:Drive campaign

The Fiat Eco:Drive system is an innovative application to help drivers reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions. Fiat drivers essentially have to download and install the Eco Drive Adobe Air application on their computers, sync a USB stick with the app and then plug the stick into the Fiat’s Blue and Me port. After driving somewhere, you can plug the USB stick back into your computer to upload all your driving data, whereupon it’s analysed to give you recommendations on how to improve your driving habits and ultimately your fuel efficiency.

Credit: AKQA London, UK

Warner Brothers ‘Why So Serious’ campaign for Dark Knight

I’ve always been fascinated with Alternative Reality Games ever since McKinney’s ground breaking Audi Heist a few years ago.  The amount of preparation, organisation and planning which goes into these sorts of campaigns  is absolutely mind-boggling and I particularly love the way it blurs the lines between the virtual world and reality.

For the launch of the film Dark Knight, Warner Brothers launched a meticulous ARG campaign to build buzz around the film, engaging 10 million participants in the process. Rather than try to explain it here, your best bet is to watch this video. Pure genius.